As mentioned in escXtra’s round-up of all the 2017 announcements so far, the Icelandic national broadcaster RÚV has confirmed that Iceland will participate in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest which will mark the country’s 30th entry into the contest.
While RÚV has yet to confirm Iceland’s selection process for the upcoming contest, it is expected that they will once again use their national final format Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins which has selected 23 of Iceland’s 29 previous entrants, including every Icelandic participant since Selma was internally selected in 2005. After securing Iceland their best ever finish of 2nd place in 1999 with All Out Of Luck, Selma failed to qualify for the final with her second entry into the contest If I Had Your Love.
Despite Selma’s failure to qualify in what was Iceland’s first ever semi-final appearance, the country has been largely successful since the semi-finals were introduced. Even though Silvia Night and Eiríkur Hauksson also failed to qualify in the following two years, between 2008 and 2014, Iceland racked up a very impressive seven qualifications in a row with Yohanna’s 2nd place finish in 2009 being a particular highlight as she matched Selma’s record finish from ten years earlier.
However, Iceland’s fortunes have taken a dip in the last couple of years after Maria Olafs and Greta Salóme both fell significantly short of reaching their respective finals. Greta’s qualification failure came as a particular shock, with almost everybody predicting her folk-pop song Hear Them Calling combined with her elaborate stage show to sail through to the finals. Nevertheless, Greta hasn’t let this hold her back as she has recently released a brand new single and music video.
Will 2017 see Iceland return to the final, and perhaps even improve on their best finish to secure their first Eurovision victory?